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Chris DeLeon led a team of 10 developers at Georgia Tech working on Zylatov Sisters, a one- or two-player high score survival game playable locally on one keyboard. Players jump and shoot everything in sight in the fixed pixelated arena until they run out of lives or fail to resuscitate their partner.

The developers have been open about their Super Crate Box, Bubble Bobble, and pinball inspirations. The stages have horizontal screen wrapping like Bubble Bobble, and the enforcer that comes out if one takes too long also is a Bubble Bobble nod.

The game is hard. DeLeon describes Zylatov Sisters as a fixed difficulty game, "tuned and paced to the difficulty of pinball in terms of approximate expected time per ball/life." The blog further describes events I haven't lived long enough to see. "Stringing together frags raises the player's multiplier, with special events happening at 5X (crate appears with special weapons or extra lives), 10X (temporary invulnerability), and 15X (instant level clear)."

DeLeon tells IndieGames that single and multi-player actually offer two different experiences. "Treat single player as a chance to learn the weapons, enemies, levels, and practice basic techniques, but the real game is sitting next to another player and keeping each other alive. Certain support weapons, available only in co-op, will make a big difference, too!"

Play Zylatov Sisters directly or on NewGrounds now.